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> Harmonic And Melodic Minor Modes Names
K1R
post Dec 25 2012, 12:16 PM
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I was reading some material about improvising over dominant7 chords when I saw a Mixolydian b13 b9 scale. When I took a closer look on it, I realised that it is the fifth mode of Harmonic Minor scale. Well, since Harmonic Minor scale is a minor scale, shouldn't Mixolydian b13 b9 be called Phrygian #3 instead? At first name "Mixolydian" led me into missunderstanding about where the mode had come from...
Mixolydian b13 (or b6) is the 5th mode of Melodic Minor scale, so shouldn't it be called Phrygian #2 #3 as well?

P.S. I've found these scales in our Scale generator as Phrygian Major Scale (Mixolydian b13 b9) and Mixolydian flat 6 (Mixolydian b13 (or b6)).

This post has been edited by K1R: Dec 25 2012, 12:23 PM


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ConnorGilks
post Dec 27 2012, 02:24 AM
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Hey man! some names are interchangeable, but the reason we call it Mixolydian (b9, b13) is for several reasons. The first is that if you saw Phrygian #3, wouldn't that throw you off? A #3 is a 4, so that's just confusing. Also, the FUNCTION of this scale is over a V7 chord (which has a diatonic chord scale of Mixolydian). That way when I say "What do I play over a V7 chord?" you can say "You can either play Mixolydian, or play Mixolydian with a b9 and a b13 for a more outside sound." That makes way more sense than going "You can play Mixolydian, or Phrygian #3."


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 29 2012, 09:03 AM
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QUOTE (ConnorGilks @ Dec 27 2012, 01:24 AM) *
Hey man! some names are interchangeable, but the reason we call it Mixolydian (b9, b13) is for several reasons. The first is that if you saw Phrygian #3, wouldn't that throw you off? A #3 is a 4, so that's just confusing. Also, the FUNCTION of this scale is over a V7 chord (which has a diatonic chord scale of Mixolydian). That way when I say "What do I play over a V7 chord?" you can say "You can either play Mixolydian, or play Mixolydian with a b9 and a b13 for a more outside sound." That makes way more sense than going "You can play Mixolydian, or Phrygian #3."


This makes sense to me as well smile.gif


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vonhotch
post Dec 30 2012, 01:26 AM
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QUOTE (ConnorGilks @ Dec 27 2012, 01:24 AM) *
Hey man! some names are interchangeable, but the reason we call it Mixolydian (b9, b13) is for several reasons. The first is that if you saw Phrygian #3, wouldn't that throw you off? A #3 is a 4, so that's just confusing. Also, the FUNCTION of this scale is over a V7 chord (which has a diatonic chord scale of Mixolydian). That way when I say "What do I play over a V7 chord?" you can say "You can either play Mixolydian, or play Mixolydian with a b9 and a b13 for a more outside sound." That makes way more sense than going "You can play Mixolydian, or Phrygian #3."


I have never understood why the same notes could have so many names. Sometimes you can read about things a bunch of times and just one time one certain explanation will make sense and make you go whoa I get that now. This was one of those times. No matter how many times I read about modes and scales I couldn't understand why everything had to have so many names and this simple explanation just kind of clicked and made a ton of sense.


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ConnorGilks
post Dec 30 2012, 03:30 AM
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QUOTE (vonhotch @ Dec 30 2012, 12:26 AM) *
I have never understood why the same notes could have so many names. Sometimes you can read about things a bunch of times and just one time one certain explanation will make sense and make you go whoa I get that now. This was one of those times. No matter how many times I read about modes and scales I couldn't understand why everything had to have so many names and this simple explanation just kind of clicked and made a ton of sense.


It is very confusing, not that there are so many names, but that there is no decided-upon standard for these names.

The reason why there's so many names is because, well think about it, why not? biggrin.gif Is a minor scale a minor scale? Or is it an Ionian (b3, b6, b7)? Or a Dorian (b6) maybe? Or a Phrygian (Natural 2)? It's all about how things function, and how we HEAR them.

Theory came AFTER music. Someone used these scales for a certain purpose, and THEN it was named and analyzed. And how did they name it and analyze it? Based on the FUNCTION it was originally used in.

I don't know if that helps at all or if it just made things more confusing, but hopefully that was of some assistance to SOMEONE here! tongue.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 30 2012, 10:10 AM
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Indeed the names are based on function and I also wanted to add the fact that Aeolian is b3, b6, b7, not Ionian, then Dorian has a natural 6th and Phrygian has a b2 tongue.gif It might be that you stated them in the wrong way on purpose to emphasize on the confusion, but I wanted to make sure so I stated the correct alterations for the modes biggrin.gif Hope you don't mind my intervention smile.gif

On the other hand, indeed you must analyze the context and all the alterations and different names for notes will make sense. For instance when we have G major we won't say Gb instead of F# - it is obvious that we need an F in the scale structure and so, F# will do instead of Gb, even though they share the same sound.


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klasaine
post Dec 31 2012, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE (K1R @ Dec 25 2012, 11:16 AM) *
I was reading some material about improvising over dominant7 chords when I saw a Mixolydian b13 b9 scale. When I took a closer look on it, I realised that it is the fifth mode of Harmonic Minor scale. Well, since Harmonic Minor scale is a minor scale, shouldn't Mixolydian b13 b9 be called Phrygian #3 instead? At first name "Mixolydian" led me into missunderstanding about where the mode had come from...
Mixolydian b13 (or b6) is the 5th mode of Melodic Minor scale, so shouldn't it be called Phrygian #2 #3 as well?

P.S. I've found these scales in our Scale generator as Phrygian Major Scale (Mixolydian b13 b9) and Mixolydian flat 6 (Mixolydian b13 (or b6)).

As mentioned scales can have a lot of names depending on context. I've found it to be a regional thing too.
Out here on the west coast of the states we usually call it Phrygian nat. 3 ... or, the fifth mode of Mel. Min. Of course learning the sound, how to use it and whether you dig it or not is the most important thing.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Dec 31 2012, 01:16 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 31 2012, 09:40 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Dec 31 2012, 12:15 AM) *
As mentioned scales can have a lot of names depending on context. I've found it to be a regional thing too.
Out here on the west coast of the states we usually call it Phrygian nat. 3 ... or, the fifth mode of Mel. Min. Of course learning the sound, how to use it and whether you dig it or not is the most important thing.


I totally agree with this - the important thing is to understand the structure, the way it sounds and the context in which it should be used. The number of existing scales and modes is pretty big, so see which ones you enjoy most smile.gif


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ConnorGilks
post Jan 1 2013, 03:37 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Dec 30 2012, 09:10 AM) *
Indeed the names are based on function and I also wanted to add the fact that Aeolian is b3, b6, b7, not Ionian, then Dorian has a natural 6th and Phrygian has a b2 tongue.gif It might be that you stated them in the wrong way on purpose to emphasize on the confusion, but I wanted to make sure so I stated the correct alterations for the modes biggrin.gif Hope you don't mind my intervention smile.gif

On the other hand, indeed you must analyze the context and all the alterations and different names for notes will make sense. For instance when we have G major we won't say Gb instead of F# - it is obvious that we need an F in the scale structure and so, F# will do instead of Gb, even though they share the same sound.


My intention was to show that those other names are WRONG and confusing. But thanks anyways. biggrin.gif A minor scale is definitely not related to the Ionian mode sound wise, at least in our western culture we've decided these are two opposite, or at least very different sound.

I think that's another thing to keep in mind, the relation to other scales isn't what's important, we only do that so I can tell you "Play Locrian (Natural 2)" and you can play it because you already know the Locrian scale, and you just need to change one note. I don't have to say "Okay play a note, then a whole step, then a half step..." etc. We have these names because we're trying to describe things to each other, not because it perfectly defines their sound... or function, for that matter, even though that's what we try to achieve.


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klasaine
post Jan 1 2013, 04:34 AM
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Excellent point ConnerGilks!

*I prefer phrygian nat. 3 because it's a quick and easy definition to understand.
It actually ends up 'sounding' like a type of alt/dom or 'ethnic' scale.


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ConnorGilks
post Jan 1 2013, 09:38 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 1 2013, 03:34 AM) *
Excellent point ConnerGilks!

*I prefer phrygian nat. 3 because it's a quick and easy definition to understand.
It actually ends up 'sounding' like a type of alt/dom or 'ethnic' scale.


Whatever works! biggrin.gif I just use Mixolydian b13 because that's what I most commonly hear it referred to as. But it also functions as a scale to use over the V chord, at least for me. I haven't learned any other uses for it yet. But like I said, it's about what works for YOU. smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 1 2013, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (ConnorGilks @ Jan 1 2013, 02:37 AM) *
My intention was to show that those other names are WRONG and confusing. But thanks anyways. biggrin.gif A minor scale is definitely not related to the Ionian mode sound wise, at least in our western culture we've decided these are two opposite, or at least very different sound.

I think that's another thing to keep in mind, the relation to other scales isn't what's important, we only do that so I can tell you "Play Locrian (Natural 2)" and you can play it because you already know the Locrian scale, and you just need to change one note. I don't have to say "Okay play a note, then a whole step, then a half step..." etc. We have these names because we're trying to describe things to each other, not because it perfectly defines their sound... or function, for that matter, even though that's what we try to achieve.


Well said indeed mate! wink.gif


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klasaine
post Jan 1 2013, 06:56 PM
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Names can be confusing indeed!

After re-reading this thread I realized that I was (mistakenly) talking about a different scale completely - ohmy.gif
I read phrygian #3 as if it was raising the third degree of a normal phryg scale - making the minor 3rd a major 3rd. Example: A Bb C D E F G A changes to A Bb C# D E F G A 'This' is what I call Phrygian Nat. #3 (sounds cool over dom and alt/dom chords - McLaughlin uses it a lot sans the 6th degree, A Bb C# D E G A). *Also I should have said 5th mode of the (D) Harm. Min. (not mel.min.). *I realize the mix of sharps and flats can be confusing but it's the only way I can get it to make sense intervalically.

I'm new here so my apologies for my confusion. I will mos def read more carefully from now on, laugh.gif

And Happy New Year!



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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 2 2013, 10:45 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 1 2013, 05:56 PM) *
Names can be confusing indeed!

After re-reading this thread I realized that I was (mistakenly) talking about a different scale completely - ohmy.gif
I read phrygian #3 as if it was raising the third degree of a normal phryg scale - making the minor 3rd a major 3rd. Example: A Bb C D E F G A changes to A Bb C# D E F G A 'This' is what I call Phrygian Nat. #3 (sounds cool over dom and alt/dom chords - McLaughlin uses it a lot sans the 6th degree, A Bb C# D E G A). *Also I should have said 5th mode of the (D) Harm. Min. (not mel.min.). *I realize the mix of sharps and flats can be confusing but it's the only way I can get it to make sense intervalically.

I'm new here so my apologies for my confusion. I will mos def read more carefully from now on, laugh.gif

And Happy New Year!


Also called Phrygian Dominant, right? smile.gif The formula is actually 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7 - and indeed it goes well over dominant chords


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klasaine
post Jan 2 2013, 06:27 PM
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Yes, phryg/dom. Especially cool sound over a 7#9 chord.
But I prefer phryg/nat3 because it signifies the single changed scale degree from the standard phrygian mode.
Again, it's what I/you get used to and are comfortable with.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 2 2013, 06:31 PM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 2 2013, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 2 2013, 05:27 PM) *
Yes, phryg/dom. Especially cool sound over a 7#9 chord.
But I prefer phryg/nat3 because it signifies the single changed scale degree from the standard phrygian mode.
Again, it's what I/you get used to and are comfortable with.


Well, I associate it with the Dominant name due to the combination between the major 3rd and the b7th smile.gif That was easier for me to recognize and use smile.gif


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klasaine
post Jan 2 2013, 09:55 PM
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Exactly and part of me now thinks that I too should call it phryg/dom precisely because I use it over dominant chords and it sounds dominant to me. Your term I feel is more definitive.

And also why it's complicated for the OP.
Both you and I are playing the same 'collection of tones'. We probably even hear it the same way but we refer to it (at least to ourselves) in the way that best helps us to remember it and maybe even convey it to somebody else(?).

But back to the original post/question ...
For better or for worse there's really only 12 notes/tones in western music - that's not a lot of notes. But for at least 1400 years people have been composing a vast and varied amount of music with just these 12 notes (in several octaves of course). Think about the differences between a Gregorian chant, Brahms, Elvis, John Coltrane, Slim Harpo, Luciano Berio, Fela Kuti, Slayer and the Jam - but they all use the same notes.

We 'name' the different collections (scales, chords even whole tunes) based most of time on how they function (or just by historical habit). And they function VERY differently in different music. As long as 'you' know what it is, you can call it whatever you want. It's only when you need to convey the sound to someone else that it can potentially become problematic. *Hence the reason it's a good idea to at least be able to spell the notes and know where they are on your instrument.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 2 2013, 09:55 PM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 3 2013, 09:16 AM
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Great input here mate smile.gif It looks like you are a fellow that knows his stuff, have you had any scholastic studies? Just being curious here smile.gif


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klasaine
post Jan 3 2013, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jan 3 2013, 08:16 AM) *
Great input here mate smile.gif Have you had any scholastic studies? Just being curious here smile.gif


Guilty as charged.
I'm pretty curious about this stuff in general but I also went to university as a music major (Cal State University Northridge in Los Angeles). Plus, I was very fortunate to 'cut my teeth' with a bunch of players that were also theory heads. To this day we'll still sit around and discuss the inner workings of music.
How about you? You obviously know this stuff as well. Seriously, I now call the scale in question phryg/dom. And I'm thinking about some of the other names I either made up myself or just accepted ... to see if they're descriptive or deceptive(?) After many years of playing and studying I'm still fascinated like a little kid by it all.


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Andre Nieri
post Jan 3 2013, 05:41 PM
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Hi mate. This scale is commonly refered as to Phrygian Dominant. I've never seen that Mixolydian (b9 b13) been applied to this scale, although the intervals are the same.


Now, the mixolydian (b13) is the 5th mode of the Melodic Minor scale. This one isn't vastly used, but still a great sounding scale to play.


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